Recent Posts By Jessica Bousquette

What a simple piece of paper is worth

What a simple piece of paper is worth | World Vision Blog

Kassahun Kebede with his wife and their little child holding a birth certificate, which is uncommon in Ethiopia. (Photo: 2012 Aklilu Kassaye/World Vision)

Protecting children starts at birth, with a simple piece of paper we all take for granted—a birth certificate. But around the world, as many as 45% of all children under the age of five don't have one.

The Girls Count Act is a new bill in Congress right now that can help address this gap, and help ensure that all children count and are protected.

A vision of opportunity for child laborers

Combating forced labor is part of World Vision’s holistic approach to protecting children and ensuring that every child has the opportunity to experience life in all its fullness. World Vision works to address the root causes of child labor and create opportunities for affected children to get an education and leave jobs that are often dangerous, dirty, and degrading.

Today, we present the stories of two boys whose lives as child laborers are turning toward new opportunities through World Vision programs.

Human trafficking: Consequences of congressional inaction

Upon arriving at the courthouse in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, we walked up four flights of stairs and into a sparse, yet lively courtroom.

We took our seats on the wooden benches and listened as a pastor from a local church translated the defense attorney’s remarks from Spanish into Creole for three young men.

I was witnessing my first human trafficking trial -- and the Dominican Republic’s first forced child begging case.

A stronger safety net for children

From my childhood, I have distinct memories of the hot lunch program at school. In particular, it was a treat to be able to get hot lunch on special days. On St. Patrick’s Day, we had green-colored applesauce and chicken nuggets!

Most days, I appreciated the nutritious meals my mom lovingly packed, but sometimes, I would glance longingly from my peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich (the fourth of the week) to the line of students getting hot lunch.

It has been a long time since I’ve thought about green applesauce. But, this brief moment from my childhood came to mind while reflecting on my visit to a World Vision program in the capital of Romania.

In the poorest area of Bucharest (also known as Sector 5), World Vision is working with the local government to provide hot meals and after-school programming for children, like tutoring and psychosocial support. The program started because of growing concern about the school dropout rate and the increased vulnerability of children due to poverty and lack of access to social services.